''Men in Black'' bumps ''Avengers'' at North American box office

Sun May 27, 2012 2:06pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The third "Men in Black" alien action comedy bumped the mighty "Avengers" from the top of movie box office charts through Sunday and was likely to dominate theaters over the rest of the Memorial Day weekend.

"MIB 3", starring Will Smith, racked up $55 million in the United States and Canada from Friday through Sunday, according to studio estimates. The movie also topped box offices in 104 countries around the world, and is expected to haul in a global $202 million over the four-day holiday weekend, distributor Sony Pictures said.

It is the first "Men in Black" film to reach theaters in 10 years, and the best performing film since the franchise began in 1997.

In "MIB 3", Smith returns to his role as Agent J, half of a secret-agent duo that keeps order among aliens disguised as humans and living on Earth. Tommy Lee Jones plays his partner, Agent K.

The new installment finds J traveling back to the 1960s to save a younger version of K, portrayed by Josh Brolin.

"MIB 3" knocked superhero team "The Avengers" to second place after three weeks at No. 1.

The global, billion-dollar blockbuster collected $37 million in North American theaters from Friday through Sunday. It also became the fastest film to cross the $500 million domestic threshold, getting there in 23 days and shattering the 32 day record set by the 2009 film "Avatar", which went on to become the world's highest-grossing movie of all time.

In third place, board game-inspired action movie "Battleship" brought in $10.7 million during its second weekend in theaters.

Sacha Baron Cohen's spoof "The Dictator" took the fourth spot with $9.6 million through Sunday, pushing new low-budget horror film "Chernobyl Diaries" into fifth place with $8 million.   Continued...

Cast member Tommy Lee Jones arrives for the premiere of "Men In Black 3" in New York May 23, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly